All-Star/Eddie Requirements / 2022

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sixofdiamonds
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All-Star/Eddie Requirements / 2022

Post by sixofdiamonds » Thu Sep 30, 2021 6:53 am

As many of you know, COVID-19 forced a lot of changes to the all-star/eddie rules and requirements. In an effort to help struggling managers field teams in 2020 and 2021, all-star/eddie requirements were scaled back. That will change come 2022. And with more teams in the league, the all-star cut-off will increase. What that means is more league members will become all-stars in 2022.

All-Star/Eddie rules and restrictions are designed to help make the game more fun for all involved by maintaining at least a semblance of parity within the various leagues. Teams that took advantage of the lessened requirements in 2020 and 2021 may find themselves in an all-star quandary come Spring 2022.

The big fish in the small pond syndrome is a league problem I’ve had to deal with for more than 20 years. It happens every so often when a team becomes so much better than the current competition to the point where games are decided in the 3rd inning week in and week out. If I live to be 100 I will never understand the enjoyment in that. It can't be fun for the team winning 25-3 and it's certainly not fun on the losing end of it. It just makes no sense to me. What makes sense to me is the feeling one gets being up at the plate with 2 outs in the 7th inning with the game winning runs on 2nd and 3rd. Or, in the field in the same situation with a chance to save the game with a great defensive play. That's what it's all about. Playing on a team that has the game won in the 3rd inning is just not fun. Playing on a team that faces a team that has the game won in the 3rd inning sucks just as much. It's not fun for the teams that get embarrassed. It's not fun for the umpire. It's not fun for the scorekeeper. It's not fun for the fans watching the game and and it's certainly not fun for me. In fact I find it very painful to watch.

I've tried to separate the talent into A and B Divisions, but there always seems to be one or two Triple A teams that make it frustrating for the other A teams to the point they don't even want to show up for the game, let alone be in the A Division. I've tried 2 equal leagues (American and National) with the top teams in each league playing for the A title and the lower seeds in each league play for the B title. That works well from a post season standpoint, but the weak teams are then forced to play the Triple A teams in the regular season which turns into a blood bath to the point the lesser teams would rather forfeit than play the Triple A teams. It's getting to the point where the lesser teams are thinking of colluding to intentionally forfeit every time they have to face a Triple A team. That's not good and it needs to be fixed at any cost.

The only thing left to do is bolster the all-star/eddie requirements, making it a little more difficult for the super stacked teams to remain that way. That is the plan for 2022. The really good teams that may become seriously impacted by the new requirements will have the option of splitting into 2 teams. You have my word I will find a place in the league for both teams if that is the route you choose to take. The other option is to pull out of the league completely. I hope that doesn't happen and as I mentioned I'm willing to work with you, but if it does happen I will understand.

It is my sincere hope the really good teams understand that my allegiance will always be with the league majority. Making the game fun for as many as I can has and always will be my top priority.

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Re: All-Star/Eddie Requirements / 2022

Post by sixofdiamonds » Thu Sep 30, 2021 11:37 am

I find it ironic when the really good teams tell me the weaker teams should get better. I've heard that over and over again. Weaker teams come into the league as friends. They do everything together including softball. Telling them to get better is the same as telling them to break up their team, much like I am being accused of doing to and by the really good teams.

Don't get your panties all in a bunch. I'm not looking to break up teams. I'm only looking to go back to our pre-COVID all-star/eddie restrictions. 5 all-stars max per coed team. 7 all-stars max per men's team. If a team has 5 all-stars in coed, they must have 5 eddies in the line-up. In 2019 we had a lot less teams in the league so the all-star cut-off was small. When COVID hit, I actually reduced the cut-off to help managers field teams. We have 20% more teams in the league this year which means next year the all-star list will increase relatively and proportionately.

As league director I am stuck in the middle. The really good teams want to play together as a team. I already know this. The lesser teams want to play together as a team as well. The good teams should know this. Each wants competition. Neither wants to win by 3 touchdowns. Neither wants to lose by 3 touchdowns. If I put all the good teams in the same league, which I've done before, the field of A division teams is usually small and the good teams bitch and moan about playing the same teams over and over. If I employ interleague play, serious mismatches occur. The pre-COVID all-star/eddie restrictions will solve the problem to a certain extent. If it doesn't, I will look for another solution.

I listen to what everyone has to say. I can tell you all right now, there is a silent majority of league members that are in favor of more evenly matched competition. And DO NOT point the finger at the teams from last night. Not one of those team members reached out to me. This has been brewing in my mind for quite some time now.

I don't profess to be an expert on this or anything for that matter. I always listen to what league members have to say. Many a great idea has come not from me but directly from league members. If you believe you have a viable solution to this issue, I'm all ears.

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Re: All-Star/Eddie Requirements / 2022

Post by sixofdiamonds » Thu Sep 30, 2021 12:02 pm

If the strong A division teams agree to abide by the pre-COVID restrictions, we should not have a problem. If they don't agree to abide by the pre-COVID restrictions, one of 2 things is going to happen. Either the strong A teams will play in a very small league of their own and play 2 other teams multiple times in one season and then again in the playoffs and 2/3 Finals or they will leave the league of their own accord. As much as I'd like to make everyone happy, and I really do want to, it just doesn't seem like I can make that happen.

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Re: All-Star/Eddie Requirements / 2022

Post by blouderback » Thu Sep 30, 2021 12:22 pm

I know this is probably a lot of work for you, but rather than setting the entire 8 game schedule for a league in advance, maybe the schedule gets set each week based on the prior week's results. Kind of a reseeding each week. That's probably a nightmare's worth of work for you, however, unless you can figure out some way to base the schedule on standings. And then, it might turn out that two teams end up playing each other 6 times in a season, so maybe that's not a good idea. Just thinking out loud...

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Re: All-Star/Eddie Requirements / 2022

Post by Rmcavey » Thu Sep 30, 2021 12:37 pm

What if players were assigned a dollar value based on their production for the previous year and teams had to stay under a salary cap? That would solve all your problems and make things interesting.

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Re: All-Star/Eddie Requirements / 2022

Post by sixofdiamonds » Thu Sep 30, 2021 1:33 pm

Thanks Ryan. I appreciate the input. And thank you Bob. Your post made me laugh out loud.

Assigning a dollar amount to each player and maintaining that from season to season, year to year would be an incredible amount of work. So much so I would have to hire people just to keep up with it. The all-star cap does basically the same thing without all the extra work and added expense. Don't get me wrong, maintaining the all-star cap is currently a lot of work for me, just not near as much work as assigning a dollar amount to each player. While a dollar value might work in favor of the players that are marginal all-stars (lower dollar value), it would destroy the better players (higher dollar amount). But, even more important is who will be in charge of assigning that dollar amount? Not me! League managers would rip me to shreds. No matter who does it, managers will cry foul. That's just how it is. In all I do for the league, it is important to me that I be objective, not subjection. When formulating the all-star cap, we use the RUNC stats (runs created). If your RUNC stat is above the cut-off, you are an all-star. If below, you are not an all-star. My feelings, opinions, and interpretations are not factored in.

In North American the following leagues employ one means or another to cap team talent to help promote parity. There is good reason for this.

National Football League (salary cap)
National Hockey League (salary cap)
National Basketball Association (soft cap + luxury tax)
Major League Baseball (luxury tax)
Major League Soccer (salary cap)
Canadian Football League (salary cap)

The NFL has been using a salary cap since 1994. In fact, much like SBA, the NFL adjusted their salary cap the past 2 years. Because of COVID-19, the league’s revenue dropped in 2020 and hence the 2021 salary cap dropped from $198 million to $182.5 million.

The only constant in life is change. As things change, we as a league must adapt.

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Re: All-Star/Eddie Requirements / 2022

Post by ryanrussell21 » Thu Sep 30, 2021 2:07 pm

Appreciate all you do Les! This is a tough one. I think any possible solution needs to be simple to understand, simple to implement, and as transparent as possible. No easy task. A couple of thoughts:

1. I’d love to see male eddies included in the all star formulation.

If I’m creating a co-ed team, the simplest path to creating a “Triple A team” (as we’re calling it) is this: Load up with the best male eddies I can find. Most men’s A players are co-ed all stars. At least on the top 6 or 8 men’s teams. I ideally want the best of the best core all stars, but core all-stars are not too hard to find. It’s more advantageous to load up on male eddies. If I can snag a Bill Stone, Nick Mancini, Warren Grant - just to name a few - suddenly I’ve loaded up my team with 2 .600+ co-ed players AND enabled myself to load up with 5 top notch core all star players. (This is what we effectively tried to do with Philly Junk a few years ago, and we were not alone.) I in effect can have 7 all-stars on my team and can annihilate any new group of friends (joining the league for fun), as well as compete with the best of the best for championships etc.

Now to be clear, I’m not advocating for male eddies that are all star quality to be excluded from the Eddie list or anything of the sort. Simply put a little asterisk * next to their name like all the co-Ed all stars, if they’ve earned it based on last years RUNC formula. You get 5 asterisks on your team max, and must have that many eddies. An individual can count as both 1 eddie and 1 all star.

Possible options:

5 core all stars, 2 non all star male eddies, 3 females.

4 core all stars, 1 male eddie all star, 4 females, 1 core non all star.

3 core all stars, 2 male eddie all stars, 3 females, 2 core non all star.

This would be relatively easy to implement annually. Best male players are co-ed all stars. Period end of story. It will also affect a very small subset of teams, if any at the moment. And it will make building super teams more difficult.


2. Co-Ed OPEN tournament or Wednesday night summer only league at the Quarry.

The reality is a lot of us players earn co-ed all star status and simply stop playing co-ed. Our social circles from men’s teams lend itself to us mostly all being all stars. If you’re not the best of the best all stars, you’re gonna have trouble finding a new competitive team to play on. And the all star status will follow you around indefinitely. Those are hard to really resolve.

I love what you said about hating 25-3 games. It’s all about that adrenaline rush from a big competitive close game where talent levels are similar and it comes down to execution on game day. I’d love to see a tournament, but even more so a league, of 5 insanely good co-ed teams. Give me 7-8 all star level players a side, 3 of the best females, and 1-2 male eddies and let’s battle it out - mano y mano. Double round robin plus playoffs.

You’d probably need to get buy in from the Wu-tang folks, Phil Black’s team, old Philly Junk, and 1-2 others that I’m less familiar with: Rake City(?), Gardners, others. If you could get a league for one session, I think all the lesser teams that don’t like playing “Triple A” squads would also have more fun playing in the secondary league that session. (Whether you call it Single A or “B” is kind of irrelevant. Point is they’d never play a super team.)


Wu-Tang is an impressive bunch. I was pretty unaware and surprised to see how good of a team they constructed. Some of those guys are deserving all-stars and managed to just squeak off the list in recent years. They’ll also likely be on the list next year. I think that situation resolves itself organically with the updated all-star list as you said. It sucks for friend groups to get split up by being too loaded, but the reality is a lot of top players befriend a lot of other top players. It happens, and if a possible 33-0 team doesn’t get broken up - who ever will?

But hats off to them. Hell of a team and hell of a season they’ve put together. I hope they finish the job before they end up having to drop the league or re-organize, as many have done before them.

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Draft League Format

Post by wdshipe » Thu Sep 30, 2021 2:41 pm

I'm just tossing out this idea while we're spitballing here. What about a draft league - that is, one where managers choose their team through a draft process much like we do for the 1-pitch tournaments? In all likelihood, you would end up with a very balanced league over the course of an 8-game regular season.

Cons:
- There would be additional work associated with running a draft 3 times a year (per league).
- You wouldn't be on a team with all of your friends or your usual teammates.
- You might really like your draft team, but be unable to keep it entirely the same for the next season.

Pros:
- Balanced competition.
- You would meet new teammates, increasing your network in softball (and in life too, potentially).
- If you don't like your draft team, it will be different the next season.

I can point to two examples that I have seen where, in my opinion, the draft really works.
1. SBA 1-pitch tournaments: I have been drafted onto some 1-pitch teams with teammates that I knew only by their reputation, on-field persona, and/or their statistics (I am a league statistician). I don't think I would have ever had the chance to actually meet and play with these people (if only for a 1-day tournament) without the opportunity of the 1-pitch tourneys. In almost all cases, I came away with much better perceptions of the people after being teammates for a day. I can say hello to them when I see them at the field, removing a sort of perceived stand-offishness (in both directions, perhaps) that was there when we didn't know each other. Once a teammate, always a friend. The competition is undeniably well-balanced in a 1-pitch tournament - look at how hard it is to pick a winner at the outset!
2. Northampton Adult Floor Hockey League: There's no SBA in the winter, so in 2019 and 2020 (pre-COVID), I had played in this hockey league that creates teams through a draft. It's an incredibly close-knit league because all of the players (8 teams with 9 players each) know each other quite well, having played both with and against each other for years. I think there are 4 seasons a year, and they draft anew for each season. The captains can gravitate toward a player or two that they definitely want on their team, but they may need to pass over better players in the draft process to keep the team the same to a significant extent. Needless to say, the competition is quite balanced, from what I've seen.

Ultimately, I mostly like things the way they are now, but mixing things up can be good too, again, both in softball and in life. I wonder if there would be an SBA league (or division) whose managers and players would be willing to experiment with a draft format for a season or two.

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Re: All-Star/Eddie Requirements / 2022

Post by sixofdiamonds » Fri Oct 01, 2021 5:55 pm

Thanks Ryan and Bill. Your input is really appreciated. You guys made some great points that have stimulated the 3 brain cells I have left.
The reality is a lot of us players earn co-ed all star status and simply stop playing co-ed. Our social circles from men’s teams lend itself to us mostly all being all stars. If you’re not the best of the best all stars, you’re gonna have trouble finding a new competitive team to play on. And the all star status will follow you around indefinitely. Those are hard to really resolve.
It was recently suggested we implement a 5-year statute of limitations on all-stars and I would like to give that a try. If an all-star hasn't played in SBA in 5 years of earning all-star status, that player can be petitioned off the list. I'm sure some managers will abuse it, but I think the greater good lies in releasing fringe players from the all-star ball and chain as you alluded to.

There's some great food for thought here. The plan is to use the off season and hammer some things out with the league rules committee (Curt Hensman, Bill Shipe, Joe DeSousa, Bill Shallcross, Connie Georgiadis).

Curt and I discussed the need to bring back the pre-COVID coed rules this past July. To those involved, please know this current discussion did not stem from what may or may not have happened on the field recently. It was in the works long before this. We also discussed alternating males and females in the batting line-up or using a '2 and 1' in the line-up (2 male then 1 female). We both agreed not to spring anything new on managers between seasons, but to wait until the off season to give teams more time to adjust back to pre-COVID rules and to the implementation of any new rules.

Nobody knew what 2021 would bring from a COVID standpoint so we kept the coed rules as they were in 2020. With COVID coed rules in place, teams could legally play 5 all-stars and only 2 females in the line-up and in the field. That's 8 men and 2 women of which 1 female is a pitcher and the other a catcher or 1B. You can't get much further from coed than that. Some teams took full advantage and why not? If the rules say you can and you do, all the power to you. So now when we have teams with 5 all-stars (many of them men's league all-stars), 1 or 2 stud male eddies, and 2 girls competing against coed teams containing maybe 1 or 2 coed all-stars and 4 or 5 girls, it's gonna get ugly. I allowed it and I take the blame for it. It goes without saying this needs to be fixed and that is my goal in 2022.

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Re: All-Star/Eddie Requirements / 2022

Post by Pedro » Mon Oct 11, 2021 3:57 pm

Crazy idea. All star rules don’t exist. We are adults, if you want participation trophies go play tee ball somewhere lmao

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Re: All-Star/Eddie Requirements / 2022

Post by sixofdiamonds » Mon Oct 11, 2021 4:21 pm

All of the organizations below use a 'governor' to keep the competition level real. They must all be crazy. It's a wonder they survived all these years.

National Football League (salary cap)
National Hockey League (salary cap)
National Basketball Association (soft cap + luxury tax)
Major League Baseball (luxury tax)
Major League Soccer (salary cap)
Canadian Football League (salary cap)

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Re: All-Star/Eddie Requirements / 2022

Post by Pedro » Tue Oct 12, 2021 7:20 am

Comparing pro league to a rec league proved nothing since they don’t have… any all star rules. For anyone that complained about Wednesday nights I’m going to bring two teams now so you only made things worse 😂😂

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Re: All-Star/Eddie Requirements / 2022

Post by sixofdiamonds » Tue Oct 12, 2021 8:29 am

What is being compared here is a concept. Pro leagues most certainly do have all-star rules only they are in the form of high-salaried player rules. The better the player, the higher their salary. Pro teams are only allowed so many high-salaried players (all-stars) before it pushes them over the cap. The same held true in Softball America until COVID hit in 2020 and the 'cap' was reduced to help managers field teams. Since the threat of COVID has lessened, the 'cap' will go back to where it should be. It's just that simple.

The reason pro leagues use a cap or tax is to keep the league competitive. Without competition, weaker teams (smaller markets) would consistently lose to the stronger teams (larger markets). Fans would get bored, lose interest, and no longer tune in or attend games. Smaller market teams would fold and the league would dwindle to only a handful of teams. The same concept is true in any league form. Lopsided competition is a cancer and we all know what cancer is capable of.

Providing there is room in the league, you are welcome to bring in a dozen teams if you'd like. As long as those teams abide by league rules and regulations, there is absolutely no issue here.

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